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Home arrow Opinion arrow Jeff Petersen: ON SECOND THOUGHT arrow Welcome to tax hell


Welcome to tax hell

“If you’re going through hell, keep going.”

— Winston Churchill

Tuesday evening I played golf in 63-degree heat. Later, the nearly full moon made it so bright outdoors I was contemplating strapping on my mountaineering head lamp and pruning cherry trees.

Instead, I put on my sleep mask that makes me look like the Lone Ranger except he could ride a horse and all I was riding was a desire to get seven hours of blissful sleep.

Wednesday I woke up and took off the mask. It was astonishingly, amazingly bright. Cove had 6 inches of snow.

Welcome to Northeast Oregon April, the time ODOT declares spring is here and studded must be off vehicles (Monday is D Day). It’s like the groundhog seeing his shadow, almost a guarantee for six more weeks of possible snow.

It’s heaven one day, hell the next.

Unless, of course, you like snowy pursuits such as sliding sideways down a cliff of a driveway to begin your commute to work. Or snowmobiling, snowshoeing or making snow angels.

The true hell of April, however, is not snow. It’s taxes.

They don’t melt.

I did my own taxes this year. Save some bucks, you know, in this recessionary, depressionary, fun with frugality time.

It was Sunday. It was windy. Crows that pay no taxes cavorted from maple tree to maple tree outside the condo, mocking me with their cries of glee.

I was inside, nearly suffocated by the 800-pound gorilla otherwise known as the 1040 federal tax instructions.

The instructions are new and improved. They are better than last year. They are simpler.

April Fools!

The online version of “Tax War and Peace” tells you about  adjusted gross income, as if any income is gross. 

“Tax War and Peace” also offers a taxpayer advocate service. It’s as if the IRS would provide a therapist should doing taxes on the kitchen table strain your marriage.

“Tax War and Peace” even gives hints on calling the IRS. As a person who has experienced that bottomless pit of fun, I can tell you that calling the IRS is about as fruitful, oftentimes, as dropping a rose petal over the lip of Hells Canyon and waiting for the echo.

Still, I’m happy to be done with taxes for another year. To celebrate, I’ll go out in the yard and make snow angels.

Reach the author at This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it


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